Throwing in the Towel

When all you hear is "You're so strong," and "You're so tough," throwing in the towel doesn't feel like an option. Like you're letting down the masses and every cancer fighter that went before you, and would have kept on fighting to the bitter end. I'm no where close to the bitter end, so I feel like I have some leeway. But I should still be fighting with all my might, right?

That's being a bit dramatic, but after spending the worst 4 days in bed, paralyzed by extreme nausea and vomiting, the towel had to be thrown.

Admitting that makes me spend a few minutes feeling like a failure.

I officially quit 1 round short of the 6 full treatments (of FOLFIRI) I decided to do this summer. 6 rounds - 1 round = 5 rounds of full dose chemo. It was all voluntary on my part, so why the hell not.

The big, unsolved mystery over the last 5 rounds was why all the violent sickness. I've done this before - 12 times before! And not once did I even reach for my bedside bowl. Sure, I was a bald, scrawny mess who could barely sit on her own sore ass. Yet here I was, only doing 6 rounds and sicker than I'd ever been. Throwing up more than I ever have.

Drug after drug was prescribed, and drug after drug failed. And I felt like my doctor no one was listening to my monotonous droning on about the level of sickness to which I had achieved. Week after week I'd go in and complain, and be sent home with something new to try. My doctor No one was hearing me say that I had never been this sick on chemo - on THIS chemo.

I was even coxed in for my pump disconnect with another shot of Aloxi, a "powerful" and "long term" anti-nausea drug they give me before my infusion. In an act that can only be described as a figurative middle finger to the non-listeners, I promptly made it to the parking lot before throwing up.

So I decided to quit my 6 rounds of summer. I threw in the towel I had just used to wipe the puke from my mouth, and had to sit there and justify my decision to my doctor. Lame.

Don't think I'm quitting treatment. As I type, I have my pump of 5-FU infusing me with my 47th round of chemo and feel just fine. Back to the drag of chemo-lite.

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